The planning committee meeting minutes for the 9th October have now been published and can be seen here (Minutes 09-10-2014 Planning Committee).
The developer’s agent tried to justify the development using these arguments (which will no doubt be repeated in the event of an appeal against the refusal decision). His comments with our reaction are below:
- The Council had adopted LIPS. In Four Marks, this was confirmed as the public’s most preferred site – We have already pointed out the many flaws in the LIPS consultation exercise but we can expect the developer to choose to ignore anything that doesn’t support their case.
- There was a new water main on Winchester Road and there was also high speed broadband. Thames Water had advised them of the manhole they would need to connect to; – well that’s all right then! What about sewerage, electricity, traffic etc.?
- No objections had been made by any statutory consultees – The statutory consultees have a “siloed” tick box approach to planning applications, are overworked by the sheer volume of developer’s proposals, and totally ignore the cumulative impact of development. District and Parish councils clearly don’t think that the cumulative impact of all the proposed development is sustainable.
- There would be a sports pitch and adult fitness trail. There would also be a scout hut which would be of benefit – from the minutes “The Parish Council was concerned that the developer had held meetings with limited community groups and had muted promises about future funding for projects directly to those groups. The parish council felt this very underhand and wished to distance itself from this sort of behaviour.”
- This was a unique opportunity – for the developer to make a shed load of money at the expense of nature conservancy and the long suffering residents of Four Marks.